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The labels "natural" and "organic" aren't strictly reserved for the produce aisle anymore—the popular buzzwords have been used to refer to everything from skincare to clothing. And while many of today's beauty brands pride themselves on being sustainable and cruelty-free with products containing natural ingredients, it can be difficult to tell what these claims actually mean.

You may find yourself trying to decipher these marketing messages as you browse for healthy beauty alternatives in your skincare and makeup routines, and you're not alone. When it comes to the beauty industry, the criteria used for certifying a product as "organic," "natural," or "clean" can be a bit murky, but don't worry—we're here to break it down and show you the best natural makeup brands.

About the Experts:

Sheila Farhang, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and double fellowship-trained in cosmetic surgery, cutaneous oncology, and reconstructive surgery. She's the founder of her practice, Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics, and co-founder of her start-up health tech company, Vispera.
Bobby Awadalla, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon. He is also active in research and has authored numerous articles in the field of dermatology, as well as seven books in the Skincredible series.

What Is Clean, Natural, and Organic Beauty?

"Clean beauty" is a vague umbrella statement," says Sheila Farhang, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics. "A lot of skincare companies are defining this for us, but it is not equal across the board." Surprisingly, the FDA doesn't use the term "organic" to refer to beauty products, so a label of "organic" strictly refers to the USDA-certified food grade.

The term "natural" when used to describe makeup products, on the other hand, refers to non-synthetic ingredients. "The important thing to note is that it is not enough for a product to claim it's organic," says Bobby Awadalla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Skincredible Dermatology. The product must also have the certification to prove it. Similarly, the word "natural" on makeup packaging doesn't always amount to much in the cosmetics industry.

It would be best if you looked for a stamp of approval from Ecocert or COSMOS Natural, two European organizations that have developed guidelines for products to fit the "natural" criteria. Once you see their stamp of approval, you can feel good trusting their claims, as the two organizations "have a stringent protocol they have to follow to get the certification," says Dr. Awadalla. "These criteria are often very strict in the origin of each ingredient, manufacturing, and packaging of the product," he explains.

One more thing to keep in mind: If a product is marked "non-toxic," that means it isn't made with harmful ingredients deemed unsafe by the Environmental Working Group—although, again, the criteria that allow a brand to identify as non-toxic aren't clearly regulated. Encompassing all of these descriptors (organic, natural, and non-toxic) is the blanket term "clean beauty." "A clean beauty stamp focuses on safe, non-toxic ingredients," explains Dr. Awadalla.

The 20 Best Natural and Organic Makeup Brands

You already know that you are what you eat, but since you are also what you put on your face, here are 20 great beauty brands to get you started.


It's a common misconception that clean beauty can't look and feel like a luxury product—but KJAER WEIS is proof you can have it all. Developed by a makeup-artist founder, the products do more than look pretty (although it is difficult to look past the shiny chrome packaging); they perform like few can. The products are all packed with skin-boosting ingredients, so it isn't easy to play favorites, but we're fond of the Cream Blush, which blends right into the skin, giving your complexion a sun-kissed glow. Additionally, the lipsticks, which pack plenty of pigment, are a fan favorite. Plus, a huge draw to the brand is that the products are refillable.


Not your mother's natural beauty brand, RITUEL DE FILLE is truly an original in the natural makeup space. Taking the magical side of clean ingredients to a literal level, the brand embodies a witchy, celestial aesthetic that you won't see among any other natural beauty brand. Think: shade names like Love Spell and Cultist and constellation-inspired packaging. If you're looking to impart a glow on your skin visible from space, the Rare Light Luminizer is a must-try. Or, for an otherworldly eye pigment, the Color Nectar Pigment Balm is written in the stars for you.

3. 100% PURE

This comprehensive brand gets an A+ or 100% (see what we did there?) on product range. Aside from fruit-pigmented color cosmetics, 100% PURE also offers skincare, hair care, and body products, making it the perfect one-stop to overhaul your entire routine. If you're looking for an easy intro to the brand, the pigmented Long Last Liquid Eyeliner is aptly named for its all-day-wear formula. And speaking of eyes, the Tea Fiber Brow Builder is just what you need for a trendy fluffy arch.


If ever there were a clean beauty brand to break the rules, it would be LAWLESS. An influencer favorite, LAWLESS has a range of super pigmented products, trendy colors, luscious finishes, and oversized palettes that feel anything but natural. The founder, Annie Lawless, is a certified holistic health coach, yoga instructor, wellness blogger, and founder of one of the largest organic cold-pressed juice companies in the country, Suja Juice. So it's no surprise that her latest venture, Lawless, boasts an ingredient list free from common culprits (like parabens, phthalates, and PEGs) and takes out anything that could be carcinogenic or hormone endocrine-disrupting. The One Talc-Free Eyeshadow Palette, an excellent place to start experimenting with the brand, is packed with 18 shadows, including matte and shimmery shades.


If there's one thing you should know about this versatile and affordable brand of handcrafted cosmetics, it's that W3LL PEOPLE boasts a list of over 30 products that are EWG-verified. We love that the cruelty-free and natural cosmetics in this collection both provide the color and coverage you crave, all while soothing and feeding your skin. And the best part is that you can find W3LL PEOPLE on your next drugstore run—consider picking up the Expressionist Pro Mascara or the Bio Correct Concealer while you're there.


This certified organic, cruelty-free brand meets the COSMOS Natural and COSMOS Organic certifications and is committed to creating 70% certified organic, 100% certified natural, and 100% certified vegan products. Our favorite products from the brand include the Certified Organic Full-Coverage Concealer and the Baked Mineral Bronzer—both of which deliver the coverage you want without the harmful ingredients.


This New Zealand–based makeup and skincare brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and comes with the BioGro stamp of approval. BioGro is an organic certification agency based in New Zealand that operates with the same standards as Natrue in the U.S. When you see the BioGro stamp on THE ORGANIC SKIN CO. products, that means the item contains over 70% organic ingredients.

The brand goes a step further and offers full transparency on each and every package, breaking down the individual item's organic and natural percentage to take the guesswork out of shopping for beauty you can feel good about. Be sure to reach for the Primp N' Prime Primer, which is packed with antioxidants and restorative oils.


From your dating life to your makeup bag, it's good to have high standards—and if you're looking for products that can live up to (and exceed) your expectations, look no further than the OG of organic skincare: JUICE BEAUTY. Not only does it use USDA-certified organic ingredients, but it goes a step further and operates with solar and wind power (whenever possible) and uses recycled packaging, thanks to its focus on sustainability in the beauty industry.

The non-toxic, cruelty-free brand expanded on its skincare line with a beauty range that stays true to its skincare ideals, serving up makeup-meets-skincare products that look and feel good as they glide on your complexion. Update your makeup essentials with the brand's Ultra-Natural Mascara or their lightweight-yet-gorgeous Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation (which certainly lives up to its name).


If you're looking for natural makeup that delivers results that can rival your favorite luxe makeup brand, look no further than ILIA BEAUTY, which relies on organic bio-active ingredients. The cruelty-free, gluten-free brand creates non-GMO formulas free of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and talc, and is committed to sustainable packaging.

If you're new to the brand, we recommend stocking up on the Soft Focus Finishing Powder, which allows you to set it and forget the need for touch-ups, and the critically-acclaimed Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40, which is a fan-favorite among beauty editors because of its gorgeous, dewy finish.


This all-natural line of lip products are made with 100% food-grade formulas that are USDA-certified Biobased and USDA-certified organic—because if it goes on your lips, it should be good enough to eat—and in the case of Noyah, it actually is. Try their Natural Lipstick, which is made with a hydrating blend of castor oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax that contributes to a nourishing formula with major color payoff.

11. TOWER 28

While this LA-based brand is fairly new to the scene, it has quickly become the authority for sensitive skin types thanks to its vegan, cruelty-free formulas that rely on quality ingredients. In addition to being hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and fragrance-free, the brand went a step further and eliminated irritants like essential oils, allergens, and solvents from its formulas to ensure a safe experience for all skin types. (The products are free of parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, talc, PEGs, and phthalates, too).

The brand’s ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly is like the new-and-improved version of your favorite lip gloss from the '90s, and the BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm allows you to fake a sun-kissed glow without subjecting yourself to the sun's UV rays.


This cruelty-free, vegan beauty brand works tirelessly to ensure its products are as healthy as possible, and currently bans over 2,700 ingredients across them. Known for cult-favorite palettes, ĀTHR BEAUTY’s Summer Solstice Palette serves up a combination of shimmer, metallic, matte, and duo-chrome finishes in a buttery formula that delivers major color payoff. At the same time, organic skincare oils reduce inflammation and boost collagen.


The non-toxic, vegan, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free brand is committed to sustainable packaging, making it both good for your skin and the environment. While FDA restrictions regarding beauty products are a bit murky here in the U.S., the brand follows the European Union's guidelines to ensure its formulas live up to the claims. Try the Brow Goals Pencil (known for its incredible shade range) or the dual-sided Friends with Benefits Lip Duo (a lipstick/lip gloss combo).


The cult-favorite brand redefined good-for-you beauty when it launched in 2014. Its products are vegan and cruelty-free, but they're also formulated without parabens, sulfates, SLS, SLES, formaldehyde, mineral oil, or talc. Instead, MILK MAKEUP constantly innovates and incorporates good-for-you alternatives in its formulas and is known for a wide array of multi-use products. Try the Hydro Grip Primer and the Flex Foundation Stick, and you'll understand why the brand is so beloved by makeup fans.


This cruelty-free brand is known for its effortless dewy, second-skin makeup made with non-GMO, non-nano formulas that are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and free of parabens sulfates, silicone, talc, phthalates, and polyethylene/PEGs. It also produces sustainable packaging (thanks to recycled glass pots and boxes made with post-consumer recycled fiber). Makeup artists swear by the brand's cream blushes and highlighters.

The hero product in the line is the Luminizer X Quad, which serves up a highlighter and a luminizer in one convenient, compact palette for a flawless, no-makeup glow. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, try the "Un" Cover-Up Cream Foundation, which comes in 16 shades (so you can easily match your skin tone) and will give you a flawless base that won't clog pores.


If you want your makeup to perform like your favorite skincare brands, KOSAS has you covered with natural ingredients and botanical formulas. The brand bans over 2,700 harmful ingredients, is cruelty-free, and is certified by Leaping Bunny. While we love the brand’s Tinted Face Oil Foundation, KOSAS has definitely built a reputation around its all-natural lipsticks, which deliver a hydrating color payoff.


HAN SKINCARE is committed to using non-toxic, natural ingredients (like argan oil, shea butter, green tea, and plant and vegetable pigments) free of synthetic fragrances to nourish your skin while also serving as your makeup. It's all about making healthy beauty accessible with high-quality products that are also affordable. The pigmented eyeshadows serve up serious color for a buildable look with a side of antioxidants, making them one of our favorite products in the line.


This natural, organic beauty brand relies on ethically-sourced ingredients to create its comprehensive range of lip products, free of sulfates, endocrine disruptors, formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan, paraffin, mineral oil, petrolatum, among other things. The brand goes a step further and submits products for final review by a team of toxicologists who test for safety and allergens. If you want to reap the benefits of the beauty line, reach for the Power Move Creamy Matte Lip Crayon or try the Upswing Full-Volume Mascara.


KALEIDO COSMETICS focuses on offering 100% cruelty-free, vegan, talc-free, phthalate-free, and paraben-free products that use organic, plant-based ingredients. While we love all the products in the brand’s line, one standout winner is the liquid liner. The KALEIDO COSMETICS Obsidian Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is waterproof, smudge-proof, and easy to use, thanks to a precise felt tip.


This brand uses safety screenings and testing for trace contaminants and is committed to responsibly sourced materials and recyclable packaging. BEAUTYCOUNTER also has a comprehensive no-no list. Known as The Never List, it features 1,800 questionable ingredients that you'll never find in the brand's formulas (and BTW, we just launched our own ingredient policy called the Out List!). Swap out your beauty staples for these good-for-you formulas, like the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer and the Brilliant Brow Gel.


In their own words, Thrive Causemetics is “bigger than beauty”. For every product purchased, they’re giving back in some way. You can see this through their 2021 Annual Impact Report. Thrive Causemetics serves organizations that fight breast cancer domestic abuse, marginalized youths, and so many more.

Aside from making a huge impact on communities across the globe, their products are 100% vegan, cruelty free, and do not use parabens or sulfates. Our favorite products include their Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara and Brilliant Eye Brightener Eyeshadow Sticks


Jones Road knows how to do clean, no makeup makeup looks. Founded by celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown, Jones Road has all the staple products you need and nothing you don’t. Nearly everything is multipurpose and is so simple to use, you totally don’t have to be a makeup expert. Their Miracle Balm is a must-try.

They describe their clean standards as, “We follow even more stringent guidelines than those set by the E.U. to eliminate over 2,700 potentially harmful ingredients from our formulas. No parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrolatum, PEGs, cyclic silicones, EDTA, or BPA”. All of Jones Road products are 100% cruelty free but a few of their products use beeswax, so their entire product assortment is not 100% vegan.


Merit makes minimalist beauty look oh so chic. They’re the place for makeup staples and the formulas and colors are simply amazing. They are a clean brand dedicated to using non-toxic ingredients, free of parabens and sulfates, 100% vegan and cruelty free, and they adhere to a banned list of over 1300 ingredients.


Vapour Beauty is not often talked about and we wish it was more! Their products as amazing; using all organic ingredients that perform well and have lasting color. You can preview their entire ingredient glossary plus, they are leaping bunny certified.


Axiology gives multi-purpose beauty an entirely new meaning. Not only can these ‘lip to lid’ products be used as lipsticks but they’re also suitable for eyeshadow and your cheeks! The packaging is plastic free and all you need to do is unravel the paper as you work through your balmie. Each color is made with 10 ingredients or less, using oils like moringa, elderberry, sunflower, and plum seed, and more! All balmies are 100% vegan and cruelty free.


Noto Botanics mission is to creative multi-use, natural, and universally sexy beauty and self care products. Their products are all 100% vegan and cruelty free as well as sustainably packaged. They recognize they are far from perfect and much to learn but their standard of clean does right by the consumer and the environment. Try their multi-stick for the perfect wash of color on your lip and cheeks.


Freck Beauty is classic! As much as Freck Beauty is a brand, it’s also an attitude. This can be seen through their social media and their fabulous models. What once started as a brand with a single freckle pen has evolved so much, both makeup and skincare wise. All products are gluten and alcohol free plus they meet the Clean at Sephora guidelines, as Sephora is their only retail partner.


LYS stand for “Love Yourself”. It’s a clean makeup brand that we love and hold near and dear to our makeup bags. Their Triple Fix Concealer is the perfect hydrating product that really covers. They were the first Black-Owned company to be apart of Sephora’s Clean Color Cosmetics Program — so cool! All of their products are plant-based and free of gluten, SLS, talc, fragrance, and mineral oil.

29. SAIE

You must try Saie if you haven’t before! Instagram it-girl Matilda Djerf is obsessed with their Glowy Super Gel highlighter. It feels as light at water and gives the best glow like no other highlighter can. All products meet the EU standards for safe and effective clean beauty products — they have an entire list of ingredients that are completely banned. They’re also leaping bunny certified.


Founded by celebrity and influencer Rosie Huntington Whiteley, the line has both makeup and skincare products. Every single one of Rose Inc’s formulas leave out over 2,000 ingredients. You can preview an ingredient glossary to to learn why each ingredient is within a product and its purpose.

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